Mangoes, in case you didn’t know, are really fun to cut. (This differentiates them from every other fruit, because other fruits are not fun to cut.) After cutting the fruit off the pit, you slice both sides of the mango lengthwise and crosswise, cutting down to the skin of the fruit but not through it. Once you’ve done this, take the mango in both hands (skin side down) and press upwards with your thumbs to turn it inside out. (This is the best part! So relish it! Take a picture!) Then use your knife to scrape the fruit from the skin and chop into smaller pieces if necessary.
So that’s how to cut a mango. Now let’s talk about how not to cut a jalapeno. Lately I’ve been noticing that jalapenos are hotter than usual and I’ve even burned my fingers a little bit while chopping them. Yes, you’re supposed to wear gloves to chop any hot pepper, but jalapenos are weak! I’ve never used gloves when chopping them. Because I’m a genius, I decided I didn’t need gloves when making this recipe, despite the minor burns I got the last few times.
OH HOLY HECK! I burned my fingers so badly. Searing pain. Searing! Not only were they burned, but they were swollen and red too. Capsaicin is serious stuff, guys. I’ve burned myself with actual fire and it didn’t hurt as much. After a little Googling, I attempted to relieve the pain by:
- Washing my hand with soap.
- Soaking my hand in ice water.
- Slathering my fingers in aloe gel.
- Rolling my fingers in sugar.
- Dipping my fingers in vegetable oil.
- Squeezing a lime over my hand.
- Coating my fingers in ricotta cheese.
- Sticking my fingers in my husband’s Ben & Jerry’s Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek Frozen Yogurt (husband was not happy about this).
- Screaming and stomping my feet like a toddler throwing a tantrum while holding my hand under hot hot water.
It was the last one that finally worked. So make a mental note of this: if you ever get capsaicin burns on your hands, put them in scalding hot water. And know that it will be the worst pain you’ve ever felt. But then! Sweet, sweet relief. The hot water will open up your pores, expelling the oil from the peppers.
After cutting the mango (fun!) and cutting the jalapeno (pain!), I assembled this salad. The first time I made it, I threw it together with leftover toppings from my Spicy Mango Pizza. It was so good that I decided it needed a post of its own. (But next time I make it, I’m wearing gloves.)
This easy Mango Black Bean Salad is great as a side dish or light lunch.
- 1-15 oz. can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise & thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- juice from 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. (Really, that's it!)